It is early, not quite I-wake-up-before-the-sun-to-squeeze-in-my-pilates early, but earlier than I’m used to functioning. I make my way down to the kitchen, hoping that I had remembered to hit the “delay brew” button on the coffee maker before falling into bed the night before, but the absence of the tell-tale happily gurgling and dripping sounds as I make my way down the stairs don’t leave me very optimistic.
As I suspected, I am not greeted by a freshly brewed pot. Instead, what I hear as I step into the doorway immediately fills my entire being with pure, unadulterated joy.
“Well helllllloooooooo my darling! And what a glorious day we have in store for us today! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping away and I see that we have our coffee all ready for brewing. Isn’t this just fantastic, Ladies & Gentlemen?”
I consider making a quick sweep of the room to make sure that there isn’t, in fact, a crowd of strangers crowding my tiny sunlit kitchen, but simply cannot tear my eyes away from the spectacle in front of me:
Patrick Cameron is standing in my kitchen*.
Why he is in my kitchen and how he got there are of absolutely no consequence to me, the mere sight of his beaming face—arms spread wide seemingly to welcome this “glorious day,” the sunlight dancing on his cascading curls—banishes all questions from my mind. Not having anything at all to say, all I can do is stand there, grinning.
“So let’s see my darling, what is it that we have here? Oh that’s right we have the coffee! I just LOVE the coffee, don’t you ladies and gentlemen? You know, I always say that just a spot of coffee in the morning, just a spot now, a tiny, tiny cup for those of you joining us from outside of the United Kingdom—just a spot of coffee first thing in the morning…well, it just makes the entire day more beautiful. Doesn’t it though my darling? Doesn’t it just?”
He’s holding a bag of grounds, purchased simply for the fact that they were on sale, with absolutely no consideration given to their flavor profile or level of quality. The bag sits in his outstretched palm, and he is gesturing towards it with his other hand as though it were some coveted grand prize on a game show.
“So now what we are going to do here ladies and gentlemen, now what we are going to do is we are going to brew the coffee. Isn’t that just terribly exciting? Now let’s get down to business my gorgeous girls, so that we can start this day properly.”
Patrick Cameron proceeds to open the crumpled, half-full bag of discounted grounds with all of the care of attending surgeon approaching an ailing patient.
“So what I’m doing here, Ladies and Gentlemen, what I’m doing is I’m just going to open the bag—very carefully mind you, my darlings, we don’t want any of these glorious grounds to come tumbling out now do we—and I’m going to take a little sniff, to see exactly what we are working with.”
Patrick Cameron puts his magnificent nose to the top of the miserable little bag of bargain coffee, closes his eyes and inhales deeply. A swath of his glorious curls tumble from his shoulder, lightly brushing the bag and making a soft rustling sound against the paper.
I can only imagine that his mane possesses some type of magical power to immediately better anything it touches because just then, he rightens himself, and with eyes shining proclaims:
“Well now isn’t that just fantastic my darlings? Such complexity! See how the smooth notes of caramel completely envelop the delightful nuttiness? And what is that I smell?” (he gives another quick sniff of the bag, eyes closed in ecstasy) “Oh well it’s just the lightest touch—an absolutely subtle hint—of …is that? Yes, it is! It’s cherry ladies and gentlemen! Oh, what a delight, what an absolute delight this is!”
Beaming with joy, Patrick Cameron proceeds to place a filter in the machine, spoon a precise measurement of grounds into it (“Not too much or too little, mind you my darlings”). He then glides over to the sink, glass carafe in hand, and fills it with water, never ceasing his exuberant narration of each step of the process.
All this time, I haven’t moved from my original place in the doorway, my cheeks now aching from the broad smile that has now been permanently affixed to my face.
“And now my darlings, now we have measured our ingredients, we have arranged them all just so, and now, the big moment has arrived. Are you ready, Ladies and Gentlemen? It is now time to push the button!”
The tiny musical chirp of the machine powering on is all but drowned out by Patrick Cameron’s enthusiastic clapping.
“And here we have it, Ladies and Gentlemen, here we have the very first drops of what is to be just a glorious pot of coffee. Isn’t it magical? Just look at that rich color! And the scent, isn’t it just heavenly? You won’t find a better smell than that, Ladies and Gentlemen. Now did you know, that the inspiration for this pot of coffee comes all the way from the 9th century—can you imagine that Ladies and Gentlemen? The 9th century! And it has a little something to do with a goat who stumbled upon some berries. And now, here we are my darling! From Ethiopian goats to a Cuisinart in just a handful of centuries! Isn’t that just delightful?”
The pot is nearly full now and the warm smell has filled the entire kitchen. I close my eyes for a moment, letting both the delicious scent and the bright, musical sound of Patrick Cameron’s voice wash over me. I can almost picture this scraggly little goat munching coffee berries in the Ethiopian wilds. Never before has my morning cup of coffee been such an uplifting experience.
“Our carafe is filled, Ladies and Gentlemen, and now, now we shall pour a bit into a cup and —do you take sugar or cream? (I nod my head, and mumble an unintelligible “yes, both”) “marvelous, my darlings, that’s just marvelous. We are just going to give that the tiniest little stir, just a little mixing to make sure everything blends together properly. And there we have it, Ladies and Gentlemen! Your morning cup of coffee! Isn’t it just marvelous? Isn’t it just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? The colors! The flavors! The aromas! I think each morning, it just gets better and better, doesn’t it? Well, that’s all we have for your morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, and I do hope you’ve enjoyed yourself. Until next time!”
I looked up from taking my first sip, and he was gone. In the place where he had stood, all that remained was silence, and a cascade of glitter and confetti falling from the ceiling, filtering through the early morning sunbeams.
And it was glorious, Ladies & Gentlemen, just glorious.
*I have never actually met Patrick Cameron, and he has certainly never been in my kitchen. This is a work of fiction and to be used purely for entertainment purposes.